Time to Act

Our Neighbours, the so-called Arch-Rivals Pakistan is at present mourning 145 people, mostly children, killed by the Taliban in a school massacre in Peshawar on 16 December. The brutal crime was executed by seven armed gunmen affiliated to Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan who had chosen children as their targets in an army school in Peshawar. Always carried out in the name of Jihad, we can pose only one simple Question, “Does Islam allow this?” The answer is & has always been a clear big NO.

The refrain across the media pumped out the words, as this attack being deemed as a wakeup call for Pakistan; a much needed reality check. The loud & clear cry of mothers mourning their children in coffins in front of their eyes was a scene never dreamt of  which melted the extremist views of Pakistan citizens. People in Pakistan describe the tension as how their feelings towards extremist groups have changed. They have started giving a thought to think what needs to be done to stabilise the situation. 

ON the Indian Pretext

The Peshawar attacks seemed to have an immediate effect on their neighbours, with the Union Ministry issuing fresh guidelines to schools across the country. The fresh Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for schools issued by the MHA has advisory such as concrete boundary walls with at least three to four gates and three telephone lines at the main gate. Moreover, the earlier SOP has also issued guidelines on how to shut doors and gates in case of an emergency.

Though no separate guidelines have been issued for the NITs, the question is, what would have happened had there been an attack on a similar scale in our institute? Do we consider ourselves ready, considering NITR to be an institute of national importance and possibility of attacks nowhere close to null? 

Institutional Views 

This massacre is a much hyped topic among the much filtered mature crowd of NITR. The answers were provided by none other than the Security Officer. The answer being satisfactory or up to the mark is being left for the NITR junta to decide.

He was very disturbed & expressed his condolences towards the family who have suffered the loss. In his views our institute is not vulnerable to any such incidents. In cases of emergency the security personnel’s are very much prepared to deal tactfully any such kind of incidents with utmost care. A majority of security people have walkie-talkies with them which directly connect the main office with the institute area. Any action raising eyebrows will be dealt with immediately and cautiously. He assured that there have been talks with Director Sir in this regard & a proposal regarding increasing the heights of Institute boundary walls & protecting them with wires is on the way.

When enquired about the Afghan incident & the slow response of the personnel two years ago, he believes that the way it was handled was very smooth & a brotherhood was established between the two communities which is still continuing. The students have a direct contact with the security officer with the numbers being displayed in the hostel notice boards, which in itself strengthens the security. He is of the view that the institute does not expect any such incidents in the near future & even if such activity is sighted, our security is very much equipped & sufficient to deal with the miscreants. He has assured students of their complete safety in the institute.

Whether Chief Security Officer’s assurances are rather really ‘assuring’, only time will tell. For now, all we can do is pray for all the tiny souls who were ‘nipped in their bud’, and hope for the safety of others so that they do not meet the same fate.